From the Principal's Desk

December 2, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

Are you easily distracted? (Squirrel!) The devil loves to put distractions into our lives which make it tough for us to keep focused on what is most important. The business of preparing for Christmas can easily distract us from preparing our hearts for the coming of the Savior. Our devotions, Bible lessons, Catechism lessons and worship services are just some of the many tools that we use to keep ourselves and our children focused on Jesus. Let’s continue to encourage one another with God’s promises and his love as we prepare for Christmas this month, and let us pray that God forgive us for the times that we are distracted from doing that!

Divine Call News

In case you have not heard, Mrs. Pastorek has accepted her call to serve in the special education department at Fox Valley Lutheran High School. Her transition to FVL will take place next summer. She’ll continue serving at St. John’s for the rest of this school year. We wish Mrs. Pastorek and her family all of God’s blessings as they look ahead to a new ministry next school year. The Board of Education and Council have agreed that we will not attempt to replace Mrs. Pastorek at this time. Since we will not need two fourth grade teachers next year, we’ll have the proper staff to cover all of the classrooms.

We’ve also been notified that Miss Treder has received a divine call to serve as first and second grade teacher at Ascension Lutheran School in Sarasota, FL. She would also help with church and school music. Please keep Miss Treder in your prayers as she considers where the Lord will use her gifts best. I’m sure that Miss Treder would welcome any feedback about her call to St. John’s as well as her call to Ascension.

Also keep Pastor Bitter and Pastor Schroeder in your prayers. Pastor Bitter is considering a call to Luther Prep in Watertown, and Pastor Schroeder has a call to Grace Lutheran Church in Crivitz, WI. May the Lord of the Church lead all of these servants to decisions that are pleasing to him!

Advent Services

Our mid-week advent services continue at St. John’s next Wednesday, December 8, and Wednesday, December 15, at 3:30 and 6:45. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of December and focus for a few minutes on the coming of our Savior!

Christmas Service

The children are busy preparing for their special Christmas services, and I hope that you’re able to attend! Our Early Learning Center (K2, K3, and K4) will be presenting their service on Saturday, December 18, at 9:00 AM. The students in grades K-8 will be presenting their Christmas worship service at Wisconsin Lutheran High School on Friday, December 24, at 4:00 PM. There are lots of special instructions about practice at WLHS on Thursday, December 23, and about the service on December 24, in this Crusader Chronicle. Please see the article for more information!

Email Communication

I’ve discovered that quite a bit of email from school families has been going into my junk mail box. I haven’t generally checked that very often, so I apologize if I have not replied to something that you sent me. We’re making a few tweaks to the filter and hope to be able to solve this issue. Thanks for your patience!

COVID Update

There are three cases of COVID among our students that I am currently aware of. The cases are in the 7th and 8th grade classrooms. There are a few students who have been required to quarantine as close contacts.

Blessings,
Dan



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November 18, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

               Now thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices,                                               Who wondrous things has done, in whom his world rejoices,                                               Who from our mother’s arms has blessed us on our way                                                       With countless gifts of love and still is ours today.

I spent 34 of my teaching ministry in small schools which were in fairly small congregations. One of the advantages of serving in a small school for a bunch of years is that you get to know just about everyone. The combination of arriving at St. John’s during COVID and having more than twice as many students as I’ve had in the past means that I don’t know all of you or your situations the way that I might like. In spite of that, I know some things about you. I know that you are blessed and loved by God. Maybe your family has been struck by illness, job loss, divorce or separation, or other things that I can’t even imagine. Even through those things, I know that God loves you.

 Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us.                               With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us                                         And keep us in his grace and guide us when perplexed                                       And free us from all ill in this world and the next.

It is so very cool when God allows us to see his blessings on this side of heaven. Those blessings come in so many ways. At Thanksgiving, it’s amazing how many earthly blessings our kids can list when given the opportunity. Maybe we need to listen to them so that our eyes can be more opened to all of the material blessings that we have! But it’s so much more than that, and our kids can make that list, too. As the hymn states, we have peace. It’s a sense of calm, even, knowing how all of this ends. We and our children have God’s sure promise of an eternal life in heaven. I pray that you find peace and joy in that truth as you celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

           All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,                                                         The Son, and him who reigns with them in highest heaven,                                                 The one eternal God, whom earth and heaven adore!
           For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Vacation

There will be no school next week Wednesday through Friday, November 24-26. Classes resume on Monday, November 29. Remember that St. John’s has special Thanksgiving worship services at 6:45 on Wednesday, November 24, or at 10:00 on Thanksgiving Day.

Divine Call News

Please continue to keep Mrs. Pastorek in your prayers as she continues to deliberate her Call to Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton. We also pray for Pastor Bitter as he considers a divine call to Luther Preparatory School in Watertown. Pastor Bitter has been called to teach religion and Latin at LPS. We pray that God would grant both of these workers peace in reaching a decision that will bring glory to him!

Gift Cards

Our school participates in the SCRIP program. St. John’s receives a percentage of the gift cards that you purchase through our office. We have some gift cards that have been around for a long time, and we’re having a clearance sale! The following gift cards are available on a first come first serve basis for 50% off of their value.

  • Krispy Kreme - $25 cards for $12.50
  • Groupon - $25 cards for $12.50
  • George Webb - $25 cards for $12.50
  • Gymboree - $25 cards for $12.50
  • The Children’s Place - $25 card for $12.50
  • Payless - $20 card for $10

Stop in the office and pick yours up today! If there are gift cards from other stores, restaurants, etc. that you would like to purchase, please let us know. We do have some on hand, and we’ll be placing a SCRIP order in the next couple of weeks in time for Christmas!

Advent Services

It’s hard to believe, but when we get back from Thanksgiving break, we will be starting the Advent season of the church year! At St. John’s, we have mid-week worship services on the Wednesdays before Christmas. We will have services at 3:30 and 6:45 on Wednesdays, December 1, December 8, and December 15. Join God’s people in preparing for the coming of the Savior as we wait for Christmas to come!

COVID Update

Right now we have no students with active cases of COVID at St. John’s that I’m aware of.

Blessings,

Dan



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November 11, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

I value our partnership. I appreciate that we can work together as part of the same team. As teammates, we have a common goal. Ultimately, our goal is to help your child know Jesus so that he or she can spend eternity in heaven! We have other, smaller goals, too. They might be in the area of academic development, music, or athletics.  I’m thankful that this week we are able to strengthen that partnership by meeting in a parent-teacher conference. Our goal is 100% participation by all of our families at St. John’s! If something prevented you from meeting with your child’s teacher, please schedule some time to visit with him or her. May God bless your conversations as you and your child’s teacher share blessings and concerns as you reflect back on the first quarter of this school year!

No School – Friday, November 12

There will be no school on Friday, November 12. The teachers are putting in a lot of extra hours due to the parent-teacher conferences, and it’s nice to be able to give them a break!

Happy Veterans’ Day

Today we join the nation in giving thanks to the veterans who have served our country to ensure the freedoms that we enjoy! We especially want to acknowledge the members of our St. John’s family who have served in the military! Thank you for your service!

CES Meeting

The Christian Education Society (CES) meets this Sunday, November 14, at 6:30 PM. The CES will be planning special events/days for the Christmas season. If you’re interested in getting involved with CES, or if you would like to attend this month’s meeting, please contact Jenny Lindert (rjlindert@gmail.com ). This month’s meeting will be offsite.

Thanksgiving Vacation

There will be no school on Wednesday through Friday, November 24-26 for Thanksgiving vacation. Please keep in mind that we have special Thanksgiving worship services at St. John’s on Wednesday evening at 6:45 and on Thursday morning at 10:00.

Gradelink Payments

Don’t forget to check the balance on your Gradelink account. Charges for tuition, hot lunch, and extended care will show up there. If there is a positive balance, that means that you should make a payment. If the balance for any of the accounts is negative, then you are in good shape! Please let us know if you have any questions!

Remind

When school needs to close because of bad weather or something else, we will communicate in many ways. One of the ways that we will do that will be through a texting app called Remind. Please see the information in this week’s Crusader Chronicle for information on how to sign up to receive remind text messages if you are not already signed up.

COVID Update

Right now we have one positive COVID case in our student body that I am aware of. Three students are being quarantined because they have a family member who tested positive for coronavirus. I know I sound like a broken record, but we give thanks to God for keeping our students healthy. Very few of our students who have tested positive have been very sick or have been sick for very long. Pray that God continue to bless our families during this pandemic!

Blessings,
Dan



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November 4, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

This week I’d like to give a couple of shout-outs! The first shout-out is to our Christian Education Society (CES) for putting on the Fall Festival on October 24. Our CES folks do a great job of putting lots of special activities for the students throughout the year. This group generally meets in the evening on the second Sunday of the month to plan their activities. They could always use more help! If you’d like to get involved, come to the next meeting at school on Sunday, November 14, at 6:30.

The second shout-out is for our lower level and lower grade teachers for offering the Bedtime Blessings event on October 27. The event was well attended, and the hard work of our teachers was really evident! We hope this event helps families get to see our teachers in action and also get to know one another a little bit!

Keep your eyes and ears open for other events at St. John’s! We hope that you can join us!

End of First Quarter

Last Friday was the end of the first quarter of the school year! Report cards are being sent home today (Thursday, November 4). Please keep the report card, but sign and return the envelope.

Report Cards

The first quarter report cards that are being sent home are the first that we’ve done using Gradelink. We’re noticing some formatting things that we’ll probably try to change in the future. We may be able to change some things this year, and others we may not be able to change until next year. Thanks for your understanding!

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Next week Wednesday and Thursday will be our parent-teacher conferences. Each family is expected to meet with your child’s teacher. For those in the upper grades, please meet with the homeroom teacher only. If you need to meet with other teachers, please schedule that at another time so that we can fit in all of the homeroom families. The conferences should be limited to 15 minutes with a 5 minute transition time between appointments. If you feel like you need more time please schedule another time. There’s a link to sign up for conferences in this week’s Crusader Chronicle. If you haven’t signed up, please do so at your early convenience!

Forensics

Good luck to our students who are participating in the WLHS 7th-8th Grade Forensics competition this weekend at WISCO. The students who are representing St. John’s are Hannah Strong, Jeremiah Alejandro, Jacob Nault, Felix Glaeske, Jacob Lindert, Autumn Christensen, Evan Pastorek, Abby Vitangcol, and Ella Schroeder.

No School

After a couple of long days for parent-teacher conferences next week, there will be no school on Friday, November 12. Our teachers will have a much deserved day off! I hope that you can do something special with your kids on that day!

Thanksgiving Vacation

There will be no school on Wednesday through Friday, November 24-26, for Thanksgiving vacation. School will resume on Monday, November 29.

COVID Update

As far as I know, we have no positive cases of COVID among students at St. John’s right now. Most of the students who have been in quarantine as close contacts have returned to school. Thanks to all of you for cooperating and being patient when we’ve had to quarantine close contacts, and praise God that our students and most of their family members have been spared any serious illness.

Blessings,
Dan



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October 21, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

The leaves are a bit late changing color this year. That’s usually connected to the weather. The very warm fall that we’ve had so far has been a blessing and very enjoyable to those of us who are not looking forward  to winter and snow and …. I think this fall’s weather has caused the end of October to kind of sneak up on us – though that may be about to change! For us Lutherans, the end of October means the celebration of the Reformation!

For centuries, the Lutheran Church has observed October 31, as Reformation Day. This is the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses (statements) to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517. He did that because he knew that on November 1, the church would be filled with worshippers celebrating All Saints Day, and he wanted to start a discussion. His theses were statements about the direction of the church that he thought did not line up with the direction that God has for his people in the Bible. Luther’s famous Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide (By Scripture alone, by faith alone, by grace alone) remains at the center of what our church teaches over 500 years later. May we never change on taking a firm stand on the Word of God. Our salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith that is a gift of his Holy Spirit who works through the Word of God!

It’s a little early, but Happy Reformation Day!

Board of Education COVID Thoughts

The Board of Education wants to thank parents for their cooperation as we continue to navigate the COVID world. There are requirements from the Wauwatosa Health Department that we have been following. In other areas, we have the flexibility to make our own policies or procedures. The Board wants you to know how some of that works and what kind of impact some of those things have on our families. When a student tests positive, we are required to determine if there were close contacts while that student was infectious. Students are considered infectious for 48 hours before they began having COVID symptoms OR 48 hours before an asymptomatic positive test. So, if you suspect that your child has COVID, and you are planning to have him or her lab tested, the Board is asking you to keep your other children home as well until you receive the test results. If the child you are testing is positive, you’ll need to keep your other children home anyway and this could limit exposure to the rest of our school family if the siblings end up getting COVID. Remember that those who are vaccinated or who have a positive COVID lab test from the last 90 days and are currently without symptoms do not need to quarantine.

Here’s the statement from the Board of Education:

There have been a number of healthy students required to quarantine after exposure to covid-positive cases in their classroom.  This hinders learning and  is disruptive to families.  Therefore, we encourage parents to keep all children home while awaiting laboratory covid test results for any symptomatic family member.

The Board of Education also wants to express their appreciation for the extra work that our faculty continues to do when there are students in quarantine. The Board asks you to be patient and understanding with teachers who are doing their very best to educate the students in the classroom. The students who are learning virtually are important as well, but it can be extremely time consuming and stressful for teachers, students and their parents! We’re continuing to figure out the best way to allow virtual students to have a window into the classroom, but that means that parents should not expect teachers to communicate with them or their children during class time. Please understand that this may vary greatly based on the grade level of the student or based on the class that is being taught.

Finally, please know that I continue to provide updates to the Board of Education on the COVID situation at St. John’s. The Board spends significant time on this topic and understands the need to be flexible as things change and to do what’s best for the health and education of our students and their families. Join us in continuing to pray for an end to this pandemic and for health and safety for all of our families!

Divine Call News

Mrs. Renee Pastorek, our third grade teacher, has received a divine call to Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton. She is being called to serve in the special education department. Please keep Mrs. Pastorek and her family in your prayers as she deliberates over the next few weeks. She will be making a decision to return to St. John’s for the 2022-2023 school year, or if she will accept the call to FVL beginning next summer. If you have any counsel or encouragement for her, I’m sure she would be glad to hear from you!

Cross Country Nationals

Our girls’ cross country team will be participating in the Lutheran Sports Association national meet this Saturday afternoon at Concordia University in Mequon. Good luck, Crusaders!

End of First Quarter

Next Wednesday, October 27, is the end of the first quarter of this school year. Report cards will be given to our students in grades K-8 on Thursday, November 4.

Wisconsin Lutheran State Teachers’ Conference

There will be no school or preschool next week Thursday and Friday, October 28-29. Our teachers will be attending the state teachers’ conference at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Classes will resume on Monday, November 1.

WLHS Play

On Wednesday, November 3, our students in grades 4-8 will be walking to Wisconsin Lutheran High School to attend a performance of their fall play, “Clue.” The performance is at 10:00. Please be sure to return the signed permission slip for this play. Permission slips are due by Monday, October 25.

Being a Christian Kid in the Electronic Age

In case you missed it last night, you may still view the presentation by Laura Reinke from Christian Family Solutions that she made to our students and their parents last night. The presentation was titled “Being a Christian Kid in the Electronic Age.” The presentation will be available for the next few days on our website. Use this link to get to the video. If you would like a copy of the slides used in the presentation, please let me know.

COVID Reminders

Wauwatosa Health Department wants to remind our families that quarantined students who return to school after 7 days with a negative lab test or after 10 days without a test should continue to monitor for COVID symptoms for 14 days after the last contact with an infected individual. This is because the virus can take as long as 14 days to infect a person. The CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health, and the Wauwatosa Health Department allow for shorter quarantines (7 or 10 days) because of the harmful impact that lengthy quarantines may have on families and on a child’s education.

Blessings,
Dan



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October 14, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

There are a number of activities that are happening at St. John’s over the next couple of weeks. I hope that you’re able to participate! There’s more information about them in other parts of this newsletter. Next Wednesday evening, October 20, there’s a special presentation about social media and electronics for kids and their parents to attend together. See below for more information. We’re having our Fall Festival on Sunday afternoon, October 24, from 3:00-6:00. There will be activities for the kids and a trunk or treat in the parking lot. We still need help with the event. See the article about the Fall Festival to sign up to help. The Bedtime Blessings for children in Preschool through first grade will be on Wednesday evening, October 27, from 6:00-8:00. This will be a fun evening for our little ones. We’d love to have you join us for these events!

Crusader Sports

The fall sports’ seasons are winding down, and our teams are competing in the end-of-year tournaments! Our boys’ and girls’ cross country teams participated in the Lutheran Sports Association state tournament last weekend. Our girls took first place in the team competition, and Ana Buske took first place in the individual competition. Our St. John’s girls were five of the top seven finishers! This weekend our soccer team and volleyball teams are competing in their conference tournaments. Our girls’ cross country team will be participating in the Lutheran Sports Association national tournament at Concordia University in Mequon, on Saturday, October 23. Good luck, Crusaders!

The fall sports are just finishing up, but the basketball season is just about to begin. Check out the Crusader athletics website here for more information about the basketball season. Practices will begin the week of October 25!

Being a Christian Kid in the Electronic Age

Children from age 8 through age 18 and their parents or caregivers are invited to attend this presentation in the church basement on Wednesday, October 20, from 6:30-7:30 PM. There will be babysitting provided for younger children. This is a timely message for our parents and their children, and it will be presented from a Biblical Christian worldview. The presenter, Laura Reinke, is a counselor with Christian Family Solutions. There is no cost for parents or children to attend this event, and no sign-up is required.

Wisconsin State Teachers’ Conference
The teachers of our Synod in the state of Wisconsin will gather at Wisconsin Lutheran High School on Thursday and Friday, October 28-29, for our state Teachers’ Conference! There will be no school or preschool at St. John’s on October 28-29. There will be child care on those two days, but due to limited staff, the enrollment will be limited. 

Family Directory
A 2021-2022 School Family Directory is available on Gradelink. You’ll find a PDF on the Communicate tab. Click on the directory and save or print your own directory. There will be a limited number of printed directories available in the office.

Hot Lunch and Extended Care Payments
This is your weekly reminder to be sure to check the “Billing” tab on your Gradelink account. It’s important to watch for charges/updates on your account. On the billing tab, you should see balances for each type of charge – hot lunch, tuition, extended care, etc. If those numbers are positive numbers, that means that you have a balance due to pay. Once you make a payment, it may take up to a week for the payment to be posted to your account. Please be patient! Remember, hot lunch charges are posted daily; extended care are posted twice a month. In your billing tab, click on “Pay another amount.” Then please put a note in the Notes box to tell us what the payment is for.

COVID Update
We are currently back to one student with COVID. This student was not at school during the contagious period of 48 hours, so no additional students needed to quarantine. Continue to pray for all of our children and our families!

Blessings,
Dan



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October 7, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

At the beginning of summer, my wife planted two tomato plants next to our house. One was Roma and the other was the little ones – grape? Well, it didn’t take long for the rabbits to find them, and they ended up nibbling the grape tomato plant down to a single little stem sticking out of the ground. I didn’t want to give up on it, so I started watering. In Germantown where we live, June was pretty dry, so I started making it my routine to go out on the patio after supper and water the plants. Pretty soon there were little leaves growing out of that little green stem. By mid-July, it was looking like it would be worthwhile to put a tomato cage over the top of the plant. I was still watering, but maybe not quite as often. And then something happened. 

I can’t explain it, and I’ve never seen anything like it. That tomato plant exploded! I mean it grew crazy fast! Soon it had covered the five feet between it and the house. It had also covered the four foot sidewalk on the other side. And there were literally thousands of little tomatoes growing on it. Now it’s easily 12 feet across, and the squirrels are enjoying some of the tasty tomatoes. There’s no way that all of the tomatoes that are on there will ever ripen before the first frost, but we’ve harvested quite a crop already! Here's what it looked like over a month ago:

Each of us was once like that little stem of a tomato plant. Actually, for us it was worse. We were dead. Dead in our sins. But God didn't give up on us. He offered up his son to save us from our sins. He nurtured us through baptism and his Word. He put Christians in our lives - parents, pastors, teachers, friends - to encourage us and keep us growing to the point of producing fruit! What does that fruit look like? It's our lives of thanks and service to him, it's love for him, and it's a desire to keep his commands!

Brewers’ Spirit Day
Our Milwaukee Brewers begin the post-season tomorrow as they are hosting the Atlanta Braves. To show our support, we’re encouraging our students to wear their Brewers’ clothing, or the clothing of their favorite sports’ team on Friday, October 8.

Shorts’ Season
As I mentioned last week, please remember to check the forecast before allowing your child to wear shorts to school. The forecasted high temperature should be 70 degrees or above. It looks like we’ll have a few of those in the next week or so, but be prepared for the colder weather ahead!

Being a Christian Kid in the Electronic Age
Children from age 8 through age 18 and their parents or caregivers are invited to attend this presentation in the church basement on Wednesday, October 20, from 6:30-7:30 PM. There will be babysitting provided for younger children. This is a timely message for our parents and their children, and it will be presented from a Biblical Christian worldview. The presenter, Laura Reinke, is a counselor with Christian Family Solutions. There is no cost for parents or children to attend this event, and no sign-up is required.

Wisconsin State Teachers’ Conference
The teachers of our Synod in the state of Wisconsin will gather at Wisconsin Lutheran High School on Thursday and Friday, October 28-29, for our state Teachers’ Conference! There will be no school or preschool at St. John’s on October 28-29. There will be child care on those two days, but due to limited staff, the enrollment will be limited. Please see the note from Miss Wendland about how and when to sign up to have your child in child care those two days.

Family Directory
A 2021-2022 School Family Directory is available on Gradelink. You’ll find a PDF on the Communicate tab. Click on the directory and save or print your own directory. There will be a limited number of printed directories available in the office.

Changing Gym Lights
We are going to be replacing the light bulbs in the gym. If you are good with climbing scaffolding and have some time to help, please let me or Mr. Leyrer know! We hope to get the scaffolding set up today and get the lights changed by Monday.

Hot Lunch and Extended Care Payments
This is your weekly reminder to be sure to check the “Billing” tab on your Gradelink account. It’s important to watch for charges/updates on your account. On the billing tab, you should see balances for each type of charge – hot lunch, tuition, extended care, etc. If those numbers are positive numbers, that means that you have a balance due to pay. Once you make a payment, it may take up to a week for the payment to be posted to your account. Please be patient! Remember, hot lunch charges are posted daily; extended care are posted twice a month. In your billing tab, click on “Pay another amount.” Then please put a note in the Notes box to tell us what the payment is for.

COVID Update
There are currently no cases of COVID among our students or staff that I am aware of! Praise God! Thanks for your cooperation during the last few weeks when we’ve had to quarantine students. Thanks, once again, to the teachers who did double-duty to teach the class in front of them as well as those who were joining online. We are thankful to have the students back in the classroom!

Mission Festival
St. John’s Lutheran Church will be celebrating Mission Festival on Sunday, October 10. As part of the mission festival, we will be having a presentation about the Ukrainian Lutheran Church in the afternoon on Friday, October 8.

Blessings,
Dan



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September 30, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

As the faculty was reviewing the Parent Handbook last year, we made a recommendation to the Board of Education to make a change. The dress code policy had stated that after October 1, the forecasted high temperature needed to be above 80 degrees for the students to be allowed to wear shorts. The new policy states that the forecasted high temperature only needs to be above 70 degrees. As the forecast for tomorrow is warmer than 70 degrees, students may wear shorts tomorrow! Next week, however, it looks like things may cool down a bit. So, now is probably a good time to make sure that the fall and winter clothing is going to fit and is ready to go! We want our students to be comfortable and dress appropriately for the weather!

Spelling Bee

Congratulations to our students who represented St. John’s at the Wisconsin Lutheran High School Spelling Bee last Saturday! Thanks also to Mr. Kriese and Mrs. Rindfleisch who served as judges and pronouncers for the bee. Special congratulations to Nadia Alejandro who took first place among the sixth graders! Well done, Nadia!

Picture Day

Our annual school picture day is this week Friday, October 1. For those who are in quarantine or missing school for any other reason, there will be a retake day on Thursday, November 4. If your child is a preschool student who does not normally attend school on Friday, you are welcome to bring him or her to get the picture taken. The photographer should have everything set up by 9:00, so it would be best if you could bring your child between 9:00 and 10:00. You can look at the Crusader Chronicle or an email earlier this week for details on how to order pictures online.

Singing Schedule

We’re thankful that our students can participate in our worship services when their class sings in church. It’s a great for our students to use their voices to sing praises to God, and it’s great for our congregation to be encouraged through their participation! There’s a schedule of when each classroom is singing posted on the website. Click here to find it!

Mid-Terms

The mid-term progress reports for grades K-8 are being sent home this week. Please look for them. Please be sure to sign and return the envelope. The report is yours to keep. Also be aware that you may monitor your child’s grades at any time through your Gradelink account!

Gradelink Payments

Overall we’re doing very well with our Gradelink payments for tuition, hot lunch and extended care. Please be sure to check your Gradelink account. Go to the billing tab and look at the balance for each category. If the number is negative, you’re in good shape and no payment is due. If the number is positive, then you have an amount that is due. When you’re making a payment, please be sure to put a note in the “Notes” box to indicate what the payment is for.

Mission Festival

St. John’s Lutheran Church will be celebrating Mission Festival on Sunday, October 10. As part of the mission festival, we will be having a presentation about the Ukrainian Lutheran Church in the afternoon on Friday, October 8.

COVID Update

At this point, I’m aware of two positive cases among our students. Both of those are in fourth grade, and both students seem to be doing very well. They should be able to return to school next week. A number of close contacts to those students are also finishing their quarantine period. Once again, I’m very thankful that all of the parents have been very cooperative with our quarantining procedures. We continue to work with Wauwatosa Health Department as we work through this year.

Blessings,

Dan



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September 23, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

For the last couple of days, we have had two men working on getting our new phone system installed. Almost two months ago, we discovered that our phones weren’t working. For a few days phone calls into our school were not getting to us, and we have not been able to use the phones to communicate between classrooms and offices since then. It’s tough to operate in 2021 without communication. Fortunately, we were able to tap into a couple of lines from church so that at least our offices have had phone service. But it just feels so exciting to get something back that we probably took for granted. It’s like, “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone!”

Is that what our communication with God is like? Do we take it for granted? What a blessing it is that we have a heavenly Father who invites us to communicate with him. He wants to know what’s on our hearts and minds. He encourages us to come to him in prayer. He wants us to rely on him for guidance, and he communicates that guidance back to us through his Word. Thank God for fixing our relationship with him through his Son, Jesus, and for giving us an open line of communication. Be confident in God’s desire and his ability to help! And find peace and rest in his promises to be with you always!

Mid Term

Students will be receiving their mid-term report cards next week. Please look for them on Thursday or Friday. Also, please be sure that you know how to find your child’s assignment grades and report card grades on Gradelink. Just log in to your Gradelink account and click on either the Grades or Assignments tab. If you have any trouble finding that on your account, please let me know. When you receive the mid-term report, please sign and return the envelope to your child’s teacher at your earliest convenience.

WLHS Spelling Bee

Good luck to our students who have qualified for the WISCO Spelling Bee this weekend. Kash Knueppel, Nadia Alejandro, Sawyer Festerling, Asher Duncan, Grace Mannisto, Ella Schroeder, Annalise Kuehn, Fin Buege and Zuzu Eft will be representing St. John’s at the Spelling Bee this coming Saturday, September 25, at Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

Being a Christian Kid in the Electronic Age

On Wednesday evening, October 20, we will be hosting a presentation for upper grade students and their parents. “Being a Christian Kid in the Electronic Age” will be presented by Laura Reinke, marriage and family therapist with Christian Family Solutions. The presentation will be from 6:30-7:30 in the fellowship hall (church basement). Our St. John’s teens will be providing babysitting for younger family members. We hope that students in grades 5-8 and their parents will consider attending!

Chapel

Our students enjoy a chapel service at St. John’s Lutheran Church every Wednesday morning at 8:15. We are also live-streaming the service. If you want to watch a live or recorded chapel service, go to www.sjtosa.org/chapel. Please note that you will not be able to find a link to the chapel services on our website. You should click on the link in this paragraph, or you can type this address into your web browser.

Gradelink

Thanks to everyone who is keeping their tuition, extended care, and hot lunch payments up to date on Gradelink! We especially appreciate it when you add a note to tell us what the payment is for. Please remember, your payment may not show up on your account for a week or even more in some cases. It just takes that much time for your payment to make it to our bank account. Thanks for your patience! If you have not been able to get your payments set up, please let me know. The second monthly payments either are due or will be due in the next week. Extended care and hot lunch balances should also be kept current! The positive numbers on your billing tab are what you should be paying. If the number is negative, you have a credit, and no payment is due for that category. For example, the family below has a credit of $49.25 for hot lunch. No hot lunch payment is due. The September tuition charge, $463, is likely set to be paid this week. (Please ignore the “Total Balance” amount at the bottom! That is not the amount due!)

COVID Update

The first wave of COVID activity seems to be settling down. We currently have three students who are still out after testing positive last week. All three are doing very well and have experienced only mild symptoms. The Board of Education met this week and did not make any changes to our approach to COVID. We continue to trust parents to make the decision to have their children wear masks or not. The Board of Education will continue to meet as needed to address any issues that might arise.

SCRIP

We are selling gift cards to your favorite stores and restaurants through the SCRIP program. St. John’s will get a certain percentage of each gift card that is sold. If you are looking for gift cards to use yourself or to give as a gift, please check with Tiffany in the school office. If we don’t have it in stock, we may be able to order it!

New Pictorial Directory

For members of St. John’s Lutheran Church: It’s been a number of years since we last produced a St. John’s pictorial directory, and it’s time for a new one. This time, we’ll be using a password-protected online directory. All of the member data has been imported, and now it’s time for you to start checking your information (and editing it, if needed). You can also submit a family photo if you have one – and if you don’t have one, that’s OK too! You can still create your account, and we’ll be offering opportunities to have pictures taken later this fall. For more details and login instructions, visit www.sjtosa.org/directory.

Blessings,
Dan



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September 16, 2021

Dear Christian Parents,

I have communicated a lot with you about COVID this week. I realize that some would rather have less communication; some want more. That’s fine. Today, I want to take a few minutes to honor our teachers.

Some of you are teachers or have experience in the workplace in education. You know how challenging that can be. The responsibility is incredible. Parents entrust their most precious possessions with teachers knowing that their child is probably going to spend more time with that teacher than with the parents themselves during the school week.

St. John’s has been blessed with what I believe are truly some of the best teachers around. I have the privilege of visiting their classrooms occasionally. I hear the sounds that come through their doors. I see them arrive at school extremely early in the morning or staying well beyond quitting time at night. I see their former students excelling at the next level. They volunteer their time to be coaches. They play music for church. They organize and attend church and school activities. They give. And they give. And then they give some more.

The other thing that I know about our teachers is that they love your kids. So do I. Our teachers and I want the students to be safe, healthy, educated and loved. Most of all, they want your kids to know about their Savior, Jesus! That is the most important thing that our teachers do each day. Since the very first day of school in August, 2020, every single morning devotion with the staff has ended the same way. I’ve encouraged the teachers to “Give ‘em heaven today!” That’s what we’re about. That’s why we’re here. We want you and your children to know that heaven is yours through Jesus perfect life, innocent death, and resurrection.

In the last week or two, teachers have been juggling. Some kids are in class. Some might be online. Some are home sick. Some are home waiting to find out if they’ll get sick. Our teachers have done a remarkable job of juggling these issues! Be patient! Let them know how much you appreciate their work! They are truly gifts of God!

Quarantine Rules

I would like to share an update that I just received from the Wauwatosa Health Department yesterday. When there are close contacts with someone who tests positive for COVID, and the onset of symptoms was less than 48 after the last time they were in school, we are required to quarantine students. That quarantine is 14 days, but we have been given the opportunity to shorten the period because of the negative impact on education, families, etc. So, we have adopted the 10 day quarantine. Students who have had no symptoms may return to school 10 days after their last contact with the person who tested positive. If your last date of contact was on September 17, you could return on September 28, without getting a test as long as you have not experienced any COVID symptoms. There’s also an opportunity to come back after 7 days. This would require a negative lab test on the 6th or 7th day. So, if you had contact with someone who is positive on September 17, you could get tested on September 23 or 24 at a lab, and you could return to school on September 25 if your test is negative. Since the 25th is a Saturday, you’d have to wait until the 27th. Even those who return to school should continue to monitor for COVID symptoms. If you’re taking this route, please bring or send a copy of the negative lab test to school.

For those students or teachers who are either vaccinated or if they have had COVID and have proof of a positive lab test in the last 90 days, there may be a little different set of rules for quarantining. If your child is asked to quarantine and he or she has a lab test proving that they had COVID in the last 90 days or if he or she is fully vaccinated for at least 14 days, please let me know! Thanks for your patience!

Gradelink

Teachers are posting grades on Gradelink, so you should be able to monitor your child’s academic progress or check for missing assignments, etc. Please also continue to use the Gradelink Billing tab to monitor your hot lunch and extended care balances. Also be sure that you have your tuition payment plans set up! If you need help or have trouble with Gradelink, please call the office!

New Pictorial Directory

For members of St. John’s Lutheran Church: It’s been a number of years since we last produced a St. John’s pictorial directory, and it’s time for a new one. This time, we’ll be using a password-protected online directory. All of the member data has been imported, and now it’s time for you to start checking your information (and editing it, if needed). You can also submit a family photo if you have one – and if you don’t have one, that’s OK too! You can still create your account, and we’ll be offering opportunities to have pictures taken later this fall. For more details and login instructions, visit www.sjtosa.org/directory.

Blessings,

Dan



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